Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. - In the ShoBox co-main event of the evening, undefeated up-and-coming prospect Saul “Neno” Rodriguez (21-0-1, 15 KOs) of nearby Riverside won a split decision treating the hometown fans to a close outcome against a tough and game Oscar “La Máquina” Bravo (22-7, 10 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight battle.
Judge Carla Caiz scored it 95-94 for Rodriguez; Tony Crebs 95-94 for Bravo and Jerry Cantu 97-92 in favor of the still undefeated Rodriguez, who had never been past eight rounds before Saturday night, and also was knocked down for the first time in his career in the fifth round.
“I was pretty happy with my performance, but I know there are a few things I need to work on and really just stay focused,” Rodriguez said. “When you’re fighting a wild opponent like Bravo, it gets tough, he head-butted me a few times which affected my visual, but I didn’t let his wild style interrupt my plan.
“I was definitely going for the KO throughout the night, but I was still boxing with him. I just gotta go back in the gym and continue developing as a fighter, I am just happy to bring the win home to my hometown and my home stable [Mayweather Promotions]."
A straight right hand by Bravo dropped the 23-year-old Rodriguez for the first time in his career
with 1:50 left in the fifth round giving Bravo a huge 10-8 round. In the sixth round Bravo, 29, was again impressive and was able to effectively get inside against Rodriguez and land several powerful combinations.
Going into the final round, the two were almost equal in number of punches thrown and number of punches connected. Rodriguez was a bit more active in the end, connecting on 33 percent of his punches (174 of 522) compared to 31 percent for Bravo (155 of 497).